Before I explain why James Harden is so good, especially for fantasy, I need to eat my own words. I would like to publically say I was wrong about him. I said he was good but he’s always been 3rd on the scouting report and he has benefitted from being a “Robin” instead of “Batman.” And now that the OKC and Houston trade has happened, and teams DO have a detailed scouting report on him, he is still tearing the league up.
What makes Harden so dangerous are his fundamentals. As simple as this sounds, he can shoot, dribble, and pass. He is a good athlete with size and can play 3 different positions. These are all great characteristics you want from a fantasy player. By the end of the year, I expect Harden to give you 20+ points, 4+ rebounds and assists, and shoot a good percentage from all 3 categories, (FG, 3FG, and FT). Most importantly though is his amount of free throws per game. He gets to the line at an alarming rate, and shoots a solid percentage. This will help skew your team’s free throw percentage because he takes so many.
The problem is that Harden is playing much better than that right now. Opponents are still trying to play catch-up to a Houston team that normally ran post up plays but now wants to run with Lin and Harden. Much like anything else, you don’t want to buy high. So wait for him to have an off week or two, then throw out some feelers and see if you can get a bite.